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Wed Apr 16 16:12:05 SAST 2014

Uruguay footballers in seven-hour motorway misery

Sapa-AFP | 29 July, 2012 09:580 Comments
Olympics Day -1 - Men's Football - UAE v Uruguay
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez looks on during the men's football first round Group A match of the London 2012 Olympic Games between United Arab Emirates and Uruguay, at Old Trafford on July 26, 2012 in Manchester, England
Image by: Michael Regan / Getty Images

Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez was seeking alternative forms of Olympic Games transport on Saturday after it took his side a marathon seven hours to get to London following a match in Manchester.

Uruguay beat the United Arab Emirates 2-1 at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, in the opening Group A match Thursday at the Olympics.

Uruguay face Senegal at Wembley in London on Sunday and drove from Manchester to the capital on Friday to settle in ahead of the match.

Though Manchester is around 200 miles (320 kilometres) from London, most English Premier League teams prefer not to risk the traffic and make the journey between the division’s two hotbeds of football by train or plane.

But Uruguay were unaware and got stuck on the M6 motorway.

“We were told during the Olympics we would go straight through but that didn’t happen,” said Tabarez.

“We were not aware there were different transport options and we will look into that from now on.” 

Following the match at Wembley, their third and final group game is against hosts Great Britain at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Uruguay’s players did not get to their rooms until 1:30am Friday, but that did not put them off attending the Olympics opening ceremony later in the day.

“We were committed to going, even though there were some consequences for us,” said Tabarez.

“In truth, the players should be really tired but I was very satisfied with the way they trained on Saturday,” he said.

Ensuring competitors can travel to and from venues without delays has been a key concern of the London Games organisers, desperate to avoid the shambles of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

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